Halo-halo, anyone?

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Have you notice the weather nowadays? It is becoming hotter and hotter! Well, it is summer time, right? It is a time where we automatically think of a place to cool off, a place to unwind and that the hot temperature should be lowered to barest. Sino ba naman ang me gusto ng palaging umiinit – ulo, katawan, pag-iisip, and even libido, tumataas! Oh, I long for a halo-halo with all ingredients that I can think of. Uray anya mabalin nga ilaok, halo-halo garud?! Speaking of halo-halo, let me dwell on another dimension, but still halo-halo. First, in our beloved City if Baguio, halo-halo na po ang hukayan. Hukay dito, hukay doon. We end up calling our place “Hukaydo” from the word place in Japan – Hokkaido. Hay naku..

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The issue between the BCDA and CJHDevCo regarding the operation of the hottest leisure park in the City, the Camp John Hay, is also halo-halo na din. You will see in the print ads, local and national, where each party are parading their own side of the story, twisting all possible angles left and right to suit their own agenda and interest. And the at the end of the line is the disadvantage that it brought and will bring to the tourists, not to mention the City that is at a loss too! You will also consider the locators, lot owners, and the third party business enterprises inside the park. How can their interests be protected too? Yon nga, halo-halo na e. Mainit na ang usapan!

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There is the issue also of the expansion project of that famous and biggest retail store at the top of Session Road. Remember the violent reaction of many people and residents when the retail store applied for a permit to cut the trees to pave way for its expansion? The story line exploded when the Church joined the opposition with no less than the Bishop leading it. The very hot topic cooled down when the Court ruled in favor of the retail store and immediately some of the trees were cut without fanfare and ground development started in no time. But the latest now is the TRO issued by the Supreme Court stopping the expansion, including the tree cutting! Mainit na naman po, at nagka halo-halo na po ang mga issue!

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And the most controversial? This is the Mount Sto. Tomas unwelcomed development. Remember the road construction and the trees that were cut down. It was found out that there were not permits and clearances issued by the proper government agencies. It was found out that water ways were greatly affected and the said watershed and protected area was not really protected after all. And a case for a TEPO – temporary environmental protection order, was lodged by concerned individuals and groups including again the Church. And to ensure protection to the remaining undamaged part of the area, the Supreme Court issued the TEPO. However, well, I do not know because we heard reports that despite the TEPO issued, the area remains unprotected and still being desecrated by the throng of people going up the mountain and visit La Presa, with many stores and with the issued permits from the LGUs continuously plying and serving the many tourists and people who wants to take photos of the famous house and then post it in social media! Naloko na po, nagka halo-halo na po. Nalilito na po tayo, umiinit na mga ulo! Haist!

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On the overall front, what is becoming hotter, if not the hottest now, is the positioning of all political servant leaders, local and national. We cannot help it because election fever is already in the air and soon enough that fever will be at its height where its ill effect will surely be felt by the ordinary people. The ‘daang matuwid’ will soon be a thing of the past since that is just a slogan that did not start right and its tract is predictable. Suddenly, we are engulfed and consumed by the blitzing survey results that tend to confuse the people the more. Political leaders-servants are now busy in their unofficial campaign sorties and promises and positioning. They are also seen throwing garbage to each other. Huwag lang sana daanin sa sakitan ng katawan or to the extreme, harm and killings.

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What can we learn from these happenings then? We have to be vigilant, join the discussion and exchanges of ideas and suggestions. Voice it out. Say what you mean and mean what you say. This time, the people should have learned from the past. Be brave enough to shun pa-pogi work activities and positioning. We cannot do away with this culture now but we can do something to fix it as a start. Let us take advantage of this atmosphere now to gauge our future political servant-leaders, that we will be able to choose wisely come election time; that we will not be caught in the maze of hot issues and instead focus on moving forward.

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But when feeling the heat and wish to cool it off, look, get and indulge into a bowl of yummy “halo-halo”! Happy eating!

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